breathless [breath-lis] – adjective
1. without breath or breathing with difficulty
runner [ruhn-er] – noun
1. a person, animal, or thing that runs, especially as a racer.
I am the breathless runner. This is my journey. Since I was young I’ve been a victim of asthma. Asthma is a breathing disorder that plagues the respiratory system. It can be brought on by allergins, cold air, or exercise. During an attack the airways constrict and make it very difficult to breathe. If you know anyone who has asthma they will probably tell you how scary it really is to be breathless. That being said, I have done my best to control my asthma all my life. During my preteen and teen years this meant being inactive, or only participating in activities that weren’t strenuous to the lungs. Well in my junior year of high school I tipped the scales at nearly 250 pounds. During my senior year I did the unthinkable. I signed up for a 5K. The Komen for the Cure 5K. My doctor, parents, and friends all thought I was crazy. My asthma would never allow me to run! But, I knew that if I continued along my path of self pity and destruction I would only be unhappy. I worked my butt off that year and lost over 70 pounds. I ran my first 5K ever in 00:38:48. I finished with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I was a runner and I was hooked.
Since then I have wavered and struggled, faded and bounced back strong, but I have remained a runner. While in college I ran only occasionally, but always in the Komen race each year. Even though I was in a different state than my first one, it reminded me of the strong women I had started my journey with. Those ladies in pink marching across the stage survived cancer, so why couldn’t I be a runner? Yes, I wheeze when I run. Yes, I have to go slower than most. Yes, I always run with an emergency inhaler in my pocket. But I keep running and my lungs are getting stronger for it. I prove wrong the people who laughed at my attempts, and those who said I could never do it.
I am now in my fifth season as a runner and my schedule this season is as full as it has ever been. My goal is to complete 30 events this year (2011) including my first full marathon. I am here sharing my journey with everyone who has ever been told that they can’t do something. And for everyone who knows how hard it is to overcome the hand they were dealt. I want to inspire people to be their best and strongest self. So join me on my journey as I become my fittest, strongest, self and together we can overcome the doubters of the world.
- All About Asthma (everydayhealth.com)